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Music and History (BA)

Entry year


This joint honours degree programme enables students to combine the study of the popular subjects of Music and History

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A violinist and a pianist.

Course overview

Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding for the similarities and differences they encounter between the two subjects. Often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or the ability to experience and contribute to cutting–edge of research.

You will spend a similar amount of time on each subject, developing your music understanding and skills and pursuing a range of enquiries in different historical periods and topics.

The School of Music and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion offer challenging and fascinating suites of modules in their respective subject areas. The flexibility of the course allows you to specialise and develop your own interests, while acquiring a solid, broad-based education and developing transferable skills.

Home to the arts, Cardiff is a great location for the study of music and history in the UK. The city has a professional opera company, Welsh National Opera, and a professional symphony orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The School of Music enjoys a fruitful relationship with both organisations that allows, for instance, students to attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price tickets for concerts.

The University has a superb historical research collection and historical sites in the city include Cardiff Castle and the resources of the National Museum.  

You are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one or more instruments or voice at the time of your application. You may be considered if you are not taking A-level Music but have (or are working towards) Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.

 

Distinctive features

  • This course is especially suited to those interested in seeing music within a broad cultural context, embracing the literary, the social, the historical and the political
  • There are no compulsory modules in either discipline
  • Your optional third year dissertation may draw on both disciplines
  • Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module
  • Business of Music modules offer a short work placement
  • Composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the University concert series, the John Bird lectures presented by visiting academics and the careers talks provides many opportunities for contact with active music professionals
UCAS codeWV31
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of Music typically has 70 places available, the School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of Music typically receives 350 applications, the School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
  1. School of History, Archaeology and Religion

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

  2. School of Music

    Music Building

    31 Corbett Road

    Cathays

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EB

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB including Music. Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below.  

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM - DMM in a Music subject. Please also see 'other requirements' below.

34-32 points, to include 6 in HL Music. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Music and School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE Maths at grade C/4, and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C/4 or an accepted English Language equivalent You will be required to have, or be working towards, Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice.       

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£17,700None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Other than your principal study instrument, you will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two Schools. Most modules in Music are worth 10 or 20 credits; those in Years 2 & 3 History are weighted at 30 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in History.

In Music, year one provides the foundations for you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education. You will receive instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship. The History side of your degree will comprise three survey modules designed to introduce you to broad periods and historical subjects, from the medieval world to the modern Far East.

Note that some Music modules are ‘prerequisites’, providing essential preparation for more advanced modules if you wish to pursue them in later years.

To complement your academic study, you are actively encouraged to join the University Choir or Orchestra and other ensembles.

Year two

You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in History.

In Music, courses are more advanced and you will focus on more specialist topics, choosing from four groups: Composition and Electroacoustic Studies, Written and Practical Musicianship, Analytical and Critical Skills, and Historical Studies.

Our year two modules on the Business of Music I/II are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and give an opportunity for a short placement in an area related to music or the arts, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.

In History your courses become more chronologically focused with particular subject areas that build on the survey modules of Year 1.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (30 Credits)HS000330 credits
Approaches to HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
Entangled Histories: Wales and the wider World,1714-1858HS170330 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy and Dissent, 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
Reformation and Revolution: Stuart Britain, 1603-1714HS172130 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed, 1840-presentHS175230 credits
Europe between the two World WarsHS175330 credits
The American RevolutionHS175430 credits
From King Coal to Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
Radicalism and the Common People, 1789-1880HS175830 credits
Urban Visions, Rural Dreams: City and Country in Britain and the United States, 1850-2000HS176430 credits
India and The Raj, 1857-1947HS176530 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
Martyrs and Collaborators: Catholicism behind the Iron CurtainHS177230 credits
Europe, East and West, 1945-1995HS177530 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541-1714HS179330 credits
Analysing 20th Century MusicMU215210 credits
Studio Techniques 1: Midi and SynthesisersMU215310 credits
Formal Functions in the Classical TraditionMU215720 credits
OrchestrationMU216120 credits
The Business of Music 1MU216410 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216710 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216820 credits
Harmonic Practice, 1725-1870MU217810 credits
Reading Film SoundMU217910 credits
Reading Film SoundMU218120 credits
Music in France Since 1900MU218210 credits
Music in France Since 1900MU218320 credits
Studio Techniques 1: Midi and SynthesisersMU226110 credits
Ethnomusicology 2: Music in Cross-Cultural PerspectiveMU227120 credits
The Business of Music 2MU227220 credits
Contrapuntal Practice, 1725-1870MU228410 credits
British Art Music from c.1900MU228510 credits
British Art Music from c.1900MU228620 credits
Issues in Popular MusicMU228710 credits
Issues in Popular MusicMU228820 credits
Opera WorldsMU228910 credits
Opera WorldsMU229020 credits
Composition 2MU232020 credits
Music Sounded Out: Interpreting Oral and Recorded Genres and FormsMU235620 credits
Practical Musicianship 2MU235810 credits
Practical Musicianship 2BMU235910 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 2MU236010 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IIMU236520 credits

Year three

You will take 60 credits in History and 60 credits in Music.

In Music, you choose again from the four subject groups, and can pursue one of the three major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis.

You may complete a short composition portfolio (Composition IV) and/or an ‘open’ recital in front of examiners and an invited audience (Practical Musicianship IV).

History modules in the final year place considerable emphasis on working with primary documents. These are often unique materials uncovered during your lecturers’ researches. From these foundations students are encouraged to build complex historical interpretations, and to challenge received ideas and accounts in their chosen field of study.

The option in both subjects to write a dissertation lets you choose a topic that draws on both disciplines, if you wish.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
The Military Orders, 1100-1320HS180530 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
Germany's New Order in Europe, 1933-1945HS183230 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Fascism and Anti-Fascism in FranceHS184830 credits
Race, Sex and Empire: Britain and India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
Wales, the English reform movement and the French Revolution of 1789HS185630 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain, 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Remembering the Holocaust in Germany: Coming to Terms with the Past?HS186430 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales, 1918-39HS186830 credits
Health and Medicine in Early Modern BritainHS187530 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Czechoslovakia: The View from Central EuropeHS188430 credits
From Hernando de Soto to the Seven Years' War: Accommodation, Violence and Networks in Native American HistoryHS188930 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture, 1800-1914HS189630 credits
The Arts in War and Peace: Culture and Politics in Britain, c.1930-1960HS189730 credits
Practical Musicianship 3 (Ensemble)MU313710 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU314910 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU316320 credits
20th Century Contrapuntal PracticeMU316410 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU316520 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316810 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316920 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU317410 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU317520 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU326720 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327410 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327520 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328410 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328520 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328610 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328720 credits
FugueMU328810 credits
Aural Cultures from the Phonograph to the SmartphoneMU328910 credits
Aural Cultures from the Phonograph to the SmartphoneMU329020 credits
DissertationMU334030 credits
Project in Music AnalysisMU334330 credits
Practical Musicianship 4 (Performance)MU334420 credits
Composition 4MU334520 credits
Project in EthnomusicologyMU334630 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 3MU334710 credits
TraethawdMU335030 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IV (Perfformiad)MU335420 credits
The War Against the Jews: Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Jewish ExperienceRT030830 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

In Music, you will be taught by academic staff with expertise across composition, performance, musicology, ethnomusicology, and popular music.

Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module. This includes accompaniment at your final recital. You will receive 24 half-hour lessons over the course of the year.

We use a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials, ensemble instrumental tuition, rehearsals and independent study.

History modules are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, classes, document workshops and individual tutorials. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.

How will I be supported?

For both subjects at the start of each year you will be given a guide to module aims, learning outcomes, methods of assessment, module syllabuses, and reading and listening lists. Your allocated personal tutor will be able to provide advice and guidance on module choices and you will have regular meetings with them.

You will have a personal tutor in both the School of Music and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

For the final-year projects you will have a supervisor to monitor progress and provide individual consultations by arrangement.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

How will I be assessed?

Methods of assessment vary from module to module and may include essay assignments, presentations, extended projects, performances, and written exams.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, such as:

  • asking the right questions of complex texts
  • identifying and applying relevant data
  • critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
  • oral and written communication skills
  • coping with uncertainty/complexity
  • creativity and innovative thinking
  • computer literacy
  • leadership, teamwork and self-management
  • identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments

Careers and placements

Career prospects

School of Music

In 2015/16, 95% of the School of Music’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

The skills developed within a music degree help our students to progress to a wide range of careers, both within and beyond the music profession. Employability skills are embedded in modules at the School of Music so that you will learn both music-specific and academic skills that are transferable to other domains, especially the workplace.  Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

In 2013/14, 94% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

We believe in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields

Placements

Year two modules on the Business of Music I/II give an opportunity for a short placement, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.

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